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Mkapa to visit Burundi to settle country’s 2015 crisis

The facilitator in the inter-Burundian talks Benjamin Mkapa is expected in Burundi on Wednesday to seek ways of settling the east African country’s 2015 crisis, a statement from the country’s foreign ministry said Tuesday evening.

"Former Tanzanian President, also facilitator in the inter-Burundian dialogue, Benjamin Mkapa, is expected in Burundi on Wednesday. During his three-day visit, the facilitator will have an opportunity to meet the secretary general of the Burundian ruling party (CNDD-FDD), registered political parties, the civil society, religious groups, women and youth groups," said the Burundian foreign ministry statement.

According to the statement, Mkapa was invited by Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza.

The inter-Burundian dialogue at the external level that was launched in December 2015 has made no progress at all.

In January 2016, the Burundian government boycotted talks in Arusha, Tanzania, arguing that it could not sit "on the same table" with what it called "non-peaceful" stakeholders.

Burundi plunged in a crisis since April 2015 when Burundian President Nkurunziza decided to run his controversial third term in violation of the national constitution and the 2000 Arusha Agreement.

His candidature, which was opposed by the opposition and civil society groups, resulted in a wave of protests, violence and even a failed coup on May 13, 2015.

More than 500 people in Burundi have been killed and some 300,000 people fled to neighboring countries mostly Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda since the outbreak of the crisis.


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